I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Trip’s morning reading
Thirty-six states confront budget shortfalls totaling $28 billion this year according to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures, Stateline.org reports today. New Mexico is listed in the report as struggling with one of the worst budget gaps as a percentage of its budget — 11.8 percent, or $650 million. The state addressed most of that gap — or at least has authorized plans to deal with that gap — last month when Gov. Bill Richardson rolled out wide-ranging cuts, including five furlough days for state workers and the elimination of as many as 1,000 vacant state jobs.
In rolling out his own cuts, Richardson vetoed important language in a budget bill that the Legislature passed in October, an action — replacing legislative cuts with his own — that some state lawmakers are saying was unconstitutional. There’s a debate among lawmakers whether to challenge Richardson in court.
One of the states really struggling is Florida, which had the nation’s second-highest foreclosure rate in November, surpassing California, reports the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Moving away from financial matters, S.C. House lawmakers Wednesday declined to impeach Gov. Mark Sanford, but the special House impeachment panel censured him for bringing “ridicule, dishonor, disgrace and shame” on the state, its citizens and the governor’s office, according to the State newspaper. Censure is an official rebuke.
In Norway President Obama was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday morning, days after announcing plans to deploy 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan. In his acceptance speech, Obama directly confronted the seeming paradox of receiving the prestigious peace prize while serving as a war president, the Washington Post reported. In trying to pursue both security and peace, he said, “war is sometimes necessary.”
“We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth that we will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes,” Obama said in his speech, known as the Nobel lecture. “There will be times when nations — acting individually or in concert — will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.”
Now to the realm of theoretical science, the new Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile loop underneath the Swiss-French border, has jumped out in front of its American counterpart in the race to understand physics in the moments after the Big Bang. This week the Collider accelerated protons to energies of 1.2 trillion electron volts apiece and then crashed them together, eclipsing a record for collisions held by an American machine, the Tevatron, at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois.In the realm of science, reports the New York Times.
Turning to prehistoric geology, you ever wonder how the Mediterranean Sea came to be? The BBC reports on a study that explains how a catastrophic flood filled the basin where the sea is now over a two-year period.
U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, better known as a “solemn-faced” conservative Republican from Utah, also is a Hanukkah song writer. And he loves Barbra Streisand. Yep, you read that right. Hatch, also known for his decades-long friendship with the late Ted Kennedy, has penned a Hanukkah song for the Jewish people, according to the New York Times. And he’s talking about it.
From the media world, here’s another name to add to the list of someone taking a buyout at the New York Times: metro reporter Jennifer 8. Lee. In addition to her distinctive name, Lee was viewed by some as one of the bright young stars at the Times. A few years ago, I got the chance to ask Ms. Lee about her distinctive middle, er, integer. We were at the same journalism conference in Cambridge, Mass. Like many of the New York Times staffers I’ve met or know, she was very approachable. Ms. Lee explained the 8 was taken from a Chinese character. If you want to know more, here’s her Wikipedia page. In addition to her work at the Times, she has written a book on the history of Chinese food in the U.S., Fortune Cookie Chronicles.